article
August 24, 2018

COLA increase slated for September

Source: NYSUT United

Q:
Do you know what the Cost-of-Living Adjustment is for 2018?

A:
The annual COLA for September 2018 through August 2019 will be 1.2 percent for eligible members who receive monthly benefits through the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System. That means the maximum COLA increase retired members will see is $18 a month. And remember, that increase applies only to the first $18,000 in retirement benefits. If your entire retirement benefit totals less than $18,000 annually, you’ll receive a smaller COLA increase; those who don’t qualify for the COLA in September will receive the increase once they become eligible.

COLAs help offset the impact of inflation by providing annual increases to NYSTRS retirement benefits based on the cost-of-living index. To be eligible, you must meet one of the following criteria: at least 62 and retired for at least five years; 55 and over and retired 10 + years; receive a NYSTRS disability benefit for at least five years, regardless of age; or be a surviving spouse of an eligible retiree, receiving a lifetime benefit. Note: spousal COLAs are half that of retiree COLAs. For more COLA information, contact NYSTRS at 800-348-7298, ext. 6150.

Q:
Retirement is still several years down the road, but I’d like to start planning ahead. Is it too early to attend a PREP seminar or a benefit consultation?

A:
Absolutely not — in fact, the earlier you attend, the better. You can attend as many benefit con - sultations and PREP seminars as you want over the course of your career. Contacting NYSTRS is the first step. Although free, both con - sultations must be scheduled in advance. PREP seminars explain critical, benefit-related decisions and review financial and legal considerations. You can stay for an entire seminar, or select modules that address your concerns. A PREP video, poster and brochure are available at www.nystrs.org.

Contact NYSTRS at 800-348-7298, ext. 6180, or use your MyNYSTRS account, to reserve a PREP seminar seat. Personalized retirement benefit consultations, including a printed estimate of your retirement benefit, are available either in person or via videoconference at NYSTRS offices statewide. Call 800-348-7298, ext. 6100, or use your MyNYSTRS account, to make an appointment.

NYSUT TRS consultants TRS members with questions may call your teacher-members on the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System Board of Directors:
David Keefe • 516-741-1241 (Retiree Representative)
Paul Farfaglia • 315-431-4040 pfarfagl@nysutmail.org
Sheila Sullivan Buck 585-454-5550 sbuck@nysutmail.org
Ronald Gross • 631-273-8822 rgross@nysutmail.org


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